6 'Venom' Movie Storylines Sony Can Borrow From The Comics

Sony Pictures plans to have a Venom movie in theaters by 2018, but we still have no idea what story they'll be telling.

The toothy alien symbiote that famously corrupted Spider-Man during his "black-and-white suit" days has been around since 1984, so there's plenty of comic book stories to choose from. The problem is that most of these tales will only work if Sony decides to do what they did with Marvel in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming and work within an already established cinematic universe. Venom's story is so intrinsically linked to Peter Parker that it's hard to separate the two without the aid of a sonic blaster, but as you'll see, some of the character's best and most famous storylines are actually pretty intriguing... and out of this world.

There have been literally dozens of characters who have become Venom, although there are only two people who deserve to wear that costume on the big screen: Eddie Brock or Flash Thompson. While Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 more-or-less showed the villainous origins of Eddie Brock's disgraced newspaper reporter, in recent years Venom has been Flash Thompson, Peter Parker's friendly rival. Let's examine the best stories from each of them.

The Villain – Eddie Brock

The Hunger 

This is by far the best choice if Sony wants to go for that Deadpool money with an R-rated movie, but they'll need to tweak it quite a bit. This four-part series sees Eddie Brock's symbiote running out of a chemical called Phenethylamine that it needs to survive. Fortunately, it can be found in people's brains! Venom's new diet essentially makes him a New York City serial killer, offering up some real darkness to explore.

Venom's new diet is a reach too far for Eddie, who tries to stop himself from what he's doing and ends up fighting his suit physically for the first and last time. He eventually teams back up with it again for the finale in order to take down a bigger threat, which he does so while singing David Bowie's "Let's Dance" (Seriously). Adding to the sillier aspects of this story, Eddie learns that he can simply keep his symbiote satiated with another source of the chemical – chocolate. That's right, Venom survives by becoming a chocoholic, cramming his face from a heart-shaped box. People will throw things at the screen! It will be Peter Parker dancing all over again! Maybe it could be great?

2003's Spectacular Spider-Man remade the story from The Hunger by adding Spidey to the equation, with the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler helping the cops hunt down a mysterious vampire-like killer who ends up being Venom. This version added a new story beat: the symbiote was getting sick of Eddie and needs a new host.

John Carpenter’s The Venom

Fans might not appreciate Sony going with the story from this 2003 18-issue Venom series. That's because it's one of those terribly comic book-y stories where it's eventually revealed that it wasn't the real Venom all along, but an imposter. Still, it's got what it takes to make a fun sci-fi/horror superhero flick, especially with the number of homages to classic movies it contains. That's obvious from the start, which kicks off in an arctic outpost that gets overrun by the symbiote. It's blatantly borrowing from John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece, The Thing, but there are certainly far worse movies from which to derive inspiration! It even takes over a dog at one point. The symbiote goes from one host to the next, making the remaining survivors paranoid as it takes them all over. It eventually makes it to civilization (after a stop in Canada to mess with Wolverine, natch), finding Eddie Brock in NYC and forcing a two-way Venom fight.

If they needed a standalone story, this could be it. While a couple of familiar superheroes show up, they really don't need any additional characters to tell this story. Plus, it could serve as an origin story if they so chose.

Ultimate Venom

This is probably the safest pick for an Eddie Brock story. In Marvel's rebooted Ultimate Spider-Man, Eddie Brock, Jr. is Peter Parker's childhood friend, and Venom was a creature genetically engineered by their scientist dads in order to cure cancer. Both dads died mysteriously in the same plane crash after trying to steal back their research, and this black ooze is all they have left of them.

Peter sneaks into the lab containing the organism one night and it takes over his body, making him bulletproof and able to finally spin webs on his own. It's impressive, but he almost immediately realizes how dangerous it is after he almost kills a criminal in full toothy Venom mode. He destroys the sample but doesn't realize that Brock has another. Brock, being mad that Parker destroyed the last thing left from his dad, takes it upon himself to stick his hand in the other sample, and being far weaker in body and mind (he's a bit of a douchy MRA type here), he becomes Venom.

This story needs the most Spider-man but it's likely the strongest! But there's another choice.

The Tortured Hero – Flash Thompson

Agent Venom

Flash Thompson was a bully in high school and used to torment Peter Parker (as seen in the first Spider-Man film and the early comics), but they reunited in college and became friends. A film that focused on Thompson version of Venom could have its origin story taken from 1999's Amazing Spider-Man #574, which depicts Flash losing his legs during a battle in Iraq. While this kicks off a story that's fairly similar to that of Iron Man –  a man with PTSD from a Middle Eastern war dealing with alcoholism and depression – it changes quite a bit when Venom enters the picture.

While trying to do anything he can to get his legs back, Thompson signs up for a secret government program (as you do). It turns out that they have the Venom symbiote and want him to bond with it. As long as he keeps it on for less than 48 hours at a time, he can control it and walk once again, although he will have to fight against its tendencies towards anger and extreme violence. He is given drugs to help control it and does succeed in working with it, becoming a superpowered hero and eventually joining Steve Rogers' Secret Avengers team.

Venom: Guardian of the Galaxy

No, really! This happened! And it's a ton of fun. After showing his mettle in countless battles, Tony Stark asks Venom to join the Guardians as a representative of the Avengers outside Earth.

There's just one problem – in space the symbiote's power becomes amplified and harder to control, and it separates from Thompson and attacks the rest of the team. At one point it even bonds with Groot and Rocket Raccoon.

What's more, they eventually take a trip to Planet Venom. Writer Brian Michael Bendis created this arc after realizing that the world has never seen a planet of symbiotes and decided to do just that, bringing Thompson to place the creature spawned and learning even more about it.

Venom: Space Knight 

Can't convince James Gunn to pull a Raimi and put Venom into Guardians of the Galaxy 3? No problem. Following Flash Thompson's team-up with that crew of outer space a-holes, he set off on his own intergalactic adventures. The comic is (really) not good but it has stuff that would definitely work for a movie adaptation. It's got everything you need for a space opera – a whiny and depressed robot named 803 that's basically half C-3PO and half Marvin the Paranoid Android, an enormous and vicious space panda, and an evil group of space pirates that pursue our hero.

The one interesting thing the comic does is delve a little more into the suit's origins. During Flash's space travels, we learn that the symbiote is actually a species called a Klyntar. Here it becomes sentient and can even survive on its own for a while, leaving legless Thompson behind to build robo-legs and get into some scraps of his own.

How a Good Venom Movie is Possible

We all know the major hurdle that a new cinematic Venom will have to leap is his portrayal in Spider-Man 3. It's a tough one, but if Deadpool was able to break out of his X-Men Origins: Wolverine appearance, anything is possible. Sony wants to turn this into a franchise and can certainly rehash the same origin, but we all know that origin stories are boring at this point and that it's much more fun to start with an established character that we learn more about, ahem, organically.

It's not clear if Spider-Man Homecoming will help set up the character in any way, but it would be an obvious point to place a few references to Venom, just in case. It also would be an easy way to figure out what kind of movie they're going to make. With Logan clearing $500 million already and Deadpool's amazing success, R-rated superheroes are (finally) all the rage right now. It's entirely possible that we'll get a villainous, brain-eating version of Venom rather than the tortured hero. After all, with great power comes great fun